Wits University begins first Covid-19 vaccine trial in South Africa

The first clinical trial in South Africa and on the continent for a Covid-19 vaccine was announced today, 23 June 2020, at a virtual press conference hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits).

The South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial aims to find a vaccine that will prevent infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Leading the trial is Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at Wits University and Director of the South Africa Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (VIDA). Wits University is collaborating with the University of Oxford and the Oxford Jenner Institute on the South African trial.

This is a landmark moment for South Africa and Africa at this stage of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we enter winter in South Africa and pressure increases on public hospitals, now more than ever we need a vaccine to prevent infection by Covid-19,

said Madhi at the launch of the South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial, which is being run at multiple sites in South Africa.

We began screening participants for the South African Oxford 1 Covid-19 vaccine trial last week and the first participants will be vaccinated this week,